This page lists entries about people directly or indirectly associated with historical events at the Watering Place.

Some of the people still to be covered in this project are:

  • Munsee (Lenape) Indians – these original settlers of Staten Island engaged in several conflicts with Dutch at the Watering Place, delaying the founding of the first permanent  European settlement of Staten Island.
  • Henry David Thoreau  – lived for a short time on Staten Island in 1843 as a tutor for the children of Judge William Emerson (brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson). In his writings Thoreau described Staten Island and the Quarantine Grounds.
  • Daniel D. Tompkins  – 6th Vice President of the U.S.A under James Monroe. Tompkins was also the 4th New York Governor. A resident of Staten Island he built a ferry service from a pier located near the southeast corner of the Quarantine Grounds and established Tompkinsville, a village that gradually grew to surround the Quarantine.  Not surprisingly, it was the Tompkinsville  residents who burned down the Quarantine buildings in 1858.
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt – the shipping and railroad tycoon was born on Staten Island where he began his empire.  Among his early investments was the private ferry service from the Tompkinsville landing at the Watering Place.
  • Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley – first Bishop of Newark and Archbishop of Baltimore. Bishop Bayley opened Seton Hall College in 1856, naming the institution of higher education after his aunt. When Bishop Bayley was at St. Peter’s church in Staten Island he ministered the people at the Quarantine Grounds that his grandfather, Dr. Richard Bayley, established.
  • Dr. Joseph K. Kinyoun – By an act of Congress the Marine Health Service (MHS) was established  in 1798 under the Department of the Treasury to provide for the medical care of merchant seamen.  The merchant seaman in need of medical care were initially treated at the Quarantine and Marine Hospital Grounds at the Watering Place along with immigrants and any person diagnosed with a potentially contagious disease. In 1831 a new facility was opened at nearby Stapleton for the exclusive use of the MHS.  This place  was called the Seaman’s Retreat.  In 1887 the MHS authorized Dr. Kinyoun to set up a “laboratory of hygiene” (a bacteriological laboratory) in an attic of the Marine Hospital at the Seaman’s Retreat to serve the public’s health.  Here Dr. Kinyoun demonstrated how to confirm suspected cases of cholera by identifying the cholera bacillus  with a microscope. In this one-room attic laboratory was born the National Institutes of Health (NIH).